Photographers captured a note on national security adviser John Bolton’s notepad Monday that may have revealed one of the Trump administration’s next-steps in Venezuela.
Written on a yellow legal pad, Bolton had two lines written at the top of the page: “Afghanistan à welcome the talks,” read one. “5,000 troops to Colombia,” said the other.
When asked last week whether the U.S. would intervene militarily, President Trump said “all options are on the table.”
That, reportedly, is the same message coming from the White House when asked about the photo.
A White House spokesman did nothing to quash the speculation about possible U.S. troop deployments to Colombia. Asked if Bolton's note meant the U.S. was planning to send troops to Venezuela's neighbor, a White House spokesman simply reiterated Trump's "all options are on the table" declaration. (USA Today)
The notes came as Bolton and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced sanctions on Venezuela’s largest state-run oil company in an effort to force dictator Nicolas Maduro from power.
“The United States is holding accountable those responsible for Venezuela’s tragic decline, and will continue to use the full suite of its diplomatic and economic tools to support Interim President Juan Guaidó, the National Assembly, and the Venezuelan people’s efforts to restore their democracy,” Mnuchin said in a statement. “Today’s designation of PdVSA [Petroleos de Venezuela] will help prevent further diverting of Venezuela’s assets by Maduro and preserve these assets for the people of Venezuela. The path to sanctions relief for PdVSA is through the expeditious transfer of control to the Interim President or a subsequent, democratically elected government.”
The U.S. and at least 20 other countries have backed Guaido as Venezuela's interim president.